The Dating Bender


CHICK-LIT:  Samantha Serrano is marrying her best friend, the one and only man who can rescue her from her loony and unbalanced family. Her dad shows up drunk and Sam pretty much walks HIM down the aisle. She was raised a good Catholic girl and has always tried to please her parents, but she always seems to end up a total and utter disaster in their eyes. Her marriage is short-lived and even post divorce Samantha is still making questionable decisions. Her mother is always quick to hand out articles and news clippings sharing advice, however Samantha’s best source of all information is from Oprah and Dr. Phil. Samantha finds true love —a few times — but hey, who doesn’t? Has she found Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now?

"The Dating Bender" packs a punch of stereotypical Catholic guilt and depicts how many are raised. Sam's dating debacles are completely over the top, and the constant magazine references are a bit much, but give readers insight into how Samantha relies on many sources to guide her poor choices in life. Ms. Julian has written an amusing tale with so many twists it is hard to fathom that one person could have such bad luck.  The alcoholic parental love is more relatable than most would like to admit and well told. This story is a painful, crazy ride; however, the pot of gold that Samantha finally finds is well deserved, and her character's perseverance is proof positive we are all survivors in some fashion. 

Viola Robins